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Students at the Center of Their Own Learning


 

     Definition

Student-centered learning (SCL), or learner-centeredness, is a learning model that places the student (learner) in the center of the learning process. In student-centered learning, students are active participants in their learning; they learn at their own pace and use their own strategies; they are more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated; learning is more individualized than standardized. Student-centered learning develops learning-how-to-learn skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and reflective thinking. Student-centered learning accounts for and adapts to different learning styles of students (National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. 1999).

Student-centered learning is distinguished from teacher-centered learning, which is characterized by the transmission of information from a knowledge expert (teacher) to a relatively passive recipient (student/learner) or consumer. According to McCombs and Whisler (1997), learner-centered learning is

the perspective that couples a focus on individual learners (their heredity, experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, talents, interests, capacities and needs) with a focus on learning (the best available knowledge about learning and how it occurs and about teaching practices that are most effective in promoting the highest levels of motivation, learning and achievement for all learners). (p. 9)
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